Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Working Remotely for the Glory of God. Joe Holland writes “Without question, workspaces around the globe will be forever changed by this virus. But it doesn’t have to be for ill.”
  • A Prayer for Working from Home. Will Sorrell offers this helpful and timely prayer for those suddenly having to work from home.
  • Understanding How Men and Women Approach Family Life and Work. Courtney Reissig writes “As a Christian, there are overarching principles that can help us in understanding our fellow brothers and sisters as they work and parent. These principles may also help us as we live in community with one another in our local churches, allowing for freedom and nuance regarding our work and family life balance.”
  • Are You an Ideal Team Player? Patrick Lencioni thinks it is time to change the way we prepare people for success. Drawing from his book, The Ideal Team Player, Lencioni makes the compelling case that the key to success in an increasingly team-oriented world is being humble, hungry and smart. Whether you’re a CEO or a 7th grader, focusing on these deceptively simple virtues can radically improve your personal and professional effectiveness and fulfillment.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of
    • The Motive: Why So Many Leaders Abdicate Their Most Important Responsibilities by Patrick Lencioni
    • Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • How Cancer Gave Me a New Perspective on Work. Chip Roper writes “Medical work, which we have now been the regular recipients of for eight months, can teach us something about work in general.”
  • How to Pray When You Hate Your Job. Tom Nelson writes “We may deeply struggle with our work, our workplaces, and the fellow image bearers we encounter in our vocational responsibilities. Yet it is in and through our jobs that we are called to provide for our material needs, to worship God, to be spiritually formed, to incarnate and proclaim the gospel and indwell common grace for the common good.”
  • Experiencing God’s Presence in my Military Service (Part 2). Our friend Russell Gehrlein writes “This is the second article of a two-part series on this topic. In part 1, I reflected on five aspects of how I experienced God’s presence as I served in and with the U.S. Army over the past 34 years.  Here, I would like to continue to expand my thoughts by covering my next five observations.”
  • The Intrinsic Value of Business to God. Bill Peel writes “The Bible provides rich resources Christian business leaders can use to guide their vision for enterprises that glorify God.”
  • Teaching Kids to Live as Christians Through Work. Andrew Spencer writes about his desire that his children learn to value work.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Reviews of The Leader’s Greatest Return: Attracting, Developing, and Multiplying Leaders by John Maxwell and An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life by Jeff Haanen
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Patrick Lencioni is one of my favorite business authors and this is one of the most helpful books that I continually go back to time and again. I would say it is my favorite “business book”, but it is actually helpful in any setting in which you work with a team – business, church, non-profit, sports, etc.
In this book Lencioni follows his usual practice of using a fictional account (fable) to make his points in an interesting manner, and then summarizing those points in the final portion (last 33 pages) of the book.
In the fable, Kathryn Peterson is a newly appointed CEO of Decision Tech, a technology company which has much potential. In fact, Kathryn will tell her staff multiple times:
“We have a more experienced and talented executive team than any of our competitors. We have more cash than they do. Thanks to Martin and his team, we have better core technology. And we have a more powerful board of directors. Yet in spite of all that, we are behind two of our competitors in terms of both revenue and customer growth.”
The problem with Decision Tech is that their executive staff is not displaying teamwork. In a series of off-site meetings, Kathryn leads the staff through the five dysfunctions of a team. She, as well as Lencioni in the final portion of the book, recommend ways for overcoming the dysfunctions.
This is an excellent book on team dynamics and teamwork. Being written as a fable allows the reader to get a vivid picture of how a team interacts and what it feels like to be part of a successful team. This is a quick read; the author’s model is simple and the book is full of practical advice which leaders can use in building good teams. I’ve included some helpful concepts Lencioni teaches in the book below: Continue reading


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Experiencing God’s Presence in my Military Service (Part 1). Russell Gehrlein writes “I have been reflecting on my military experience over 34 years of serving in and with the U.S. Army.  There is abundant evidence that God has been and is present with me in this work.”
  • Good Men Work Hard and Sleep Well. Marshall Segal writes “Work hard with what you have been given, for as long as you are given, and get some sleep along the way. Trust God’s will willbe done. He will accomplish everything he means to be done through you.”
  • How to Witness at Work. In this workshop from the 2018 Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference, Gloria Furman, Lauren Hansen, Jeany Kim Jun, and Regina Robinson discuss how we can carry out the Great Commission in our workplaces. What kinds of sensitivities and clarity are biblical and effective? What is the role of the church? How can we shine the light of the gospel in our various places of work—whether an office, a kitchen, an artist’s studio, or a classroom?
  • How to Fire Someone Like Jesus Would. Brad Larson writes “You can be Christlike and kind to someone as you fire them. You can love them while letting them go. Though it may not be received well, showing sincere tenderness to someone while letting them go is indeed an act of love.”
  • The Dignity of All Work. Tim Keller writes “All work has dignity because it reflects God’s image in us, and also because the material creation we are called to care for is good.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

    • More links to interesting articles
    • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
    • My Review of 3D Leadership: Defining, Developing and Deploying Christian Leaders Who Can Change the World by Harry L. Reeder
    • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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How to Develop a Vision and Make it Stick

Have you ever been in an organization and not felt that there was a clear direction on where the organization was going? Or perhaps the organization has a stated vision, but it’s not well understood what the vision actually means. Leaders – whether they are in a Fortune 500 organization, church, non-profit or team – need to provide a vision for those they are leading. People need to know where their leader is taking them. John Maxwell has said that a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
But how do you develop a vision for your organization, and then once developed, how do you make that vision stick? I’ve been helped in this area by two books written by Andy Stanley – Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision and Making Vision Stick. Continue reading


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • 6 Questions to Ask About Working After Retirement. Jeff Haanen shares six questions to ask – and choices to make – as you make a plan to work after retirement.
  • Called to Write – Helping Others Walk in God’s Presence. Russell Gehrlein discusses his calling as a writer.
  • 4 Ways to Set Effective Goals in 2020. Eric Geiger writes “Here are four ways to ensure you are setting the best goals. Set goals for your whole life, in community, with a plan, and ultimately with a focus on the greater goal.”
  • How to Fight Envy in the Workplace. Gage Arnold responds to the question “How can I know if I just need to settle down and be content, or if I’m in the wrong job and should be looking for something where I can be brilliant?”
  • Making Wise Career Choices in 2020. Matt Perman suggests three things to help us make wise career choices, even if we don’t know what we are passionate about.
  • IFWE’s Top Ten Blogs of 2019. Kristin Brown shares 2019’s top ten blog posts from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (IFWE), which includes “Trusting God in New Job Assignments” from our friend Russell Gehrlein.
  • Podcast: Help! I Hate My Job. In this episode of the Crossway Podcast, Jim Hamilton, author of Work and Our Labor in the Lord, joins Matt Tully and discusses what to do when you hate your job. He offers encouragement for those frustrated in their work, reflects on God’s original intention for work at creation, and explains the difference between a job and a vocation.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

    • More links to interesting articles
    • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
    • My Review of Taking God to Work: The Keys to Ultimate Success by Steve Reynolds and David L. Winters
    • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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God Values the Work of the Stay at Home Mom

Russell Gehrlein writes in his book Immanuel Labor that motherhood is indeed a high calling. He looks at Proverbs 31 to show that the mother works for the benefit of others, including her husband, her children and the needy. She is entrepreneurial, conducting business outside the home. She is hard working, putting in long hours and making good use of her time. In the midst of her work she exudes joy. She is a role model, not just for women, but for all workers.
When we talk about work, we usually talk about paid work for some organization. But what about stay at home moms? I’ve been helped in this area by the writings of Courtney Reissig. In her article “When Motherhood Feels Like Death”, she writes that one of the great challenges of motherhood is the lack of a job description. Moms don’t keep normal business hours because their children don’t. Moms don’t have workplace boundaries because they live at work. The tasks are always there, waiting to be done. The children are always there, needing attention, love and training.
In her excellent book Glory in the Ordinary: Why Your Work in the Home Matters to God Reissig writes that moms are tired. They are weary of the pressure to live up to expectations and ideals that no human being could ever attain. On one hand, they hear that their work at home is the pinnacle of greatness, but on the other hand they hear that they are letting down women everywhere by staying home instead of taking advantage of the strides women have made in the workplace. She states that instead of looking at their work as stay at home moms through God’s eyes, many look at it through their own—and wonder if they measure up. Continue reading